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American Red Cross Rushes Aid to Earthquake Survivors in Indonesia


May 29, 2006

WASHINGTON, Monday, — The American Red Cross in partnership with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (Movement) is responding to help the Indonesian Red Cross (Palang Merah Indonesia) meet the needs of earthquake survivors in Yogyakarta and Central Java who have been dealt a devastating blow by Mother Nature.

“The next few days are critical. Red Cross volunteers are working around the clock to get aid into the hardest-hit areas as quickly as possible.” said Ricardo Caivano, American Red Cross senior country representative in Indonesia, after participating in a ground and aerial damage assessment of the devastation. “The quake caused severe damage to homes. We’ve seen many injuries since the earthquake struck when many people were sleeping. We’ve also seen injuries from roofs collapsing. After attending to the injured, the next critical steps will be to provide relief supplies, shelter and emotional support.”

The quake struck in a highly-populated area, so along with the thousands who lost their lives, an estimated 200,000 people were affected, with tens of thousands injured and displaced from their homes. Earthquake survivors will need water, food, shelter, medical care and psychosocial support in the coming crucial days. Since hospitals are overwhelmed, the Red Cross has provided a field hospital, which was used in Aceh after the tsunami. In addition, more medical staff, supplies and equipment are en route

“The American Red Cross is actively supporting the Indonesian Red Cross in their courageous relief efforts,” said David Meltzer, senior vice president of international services for the American Red Cross. “We have contributed $219,000 to the relief efforts and have participated in a damage assessment of the region, along with other Movement partners.”

More than 400 Indonesia Red Cross volunteers were already on the ground when the earthquake struck, due to pre-staging for a possible eruption of nearby Mount Merapi. The American Red Cross, which began work in Indonesia shortly after the tsunami, has deployed workers specializing in psychosocial support and communications to Yogyakarta, and has deployed members of a joint American Red Cross/Spanish Red Cross Relief Emergency Response Unit today. This team coordinates volunteers to distribute what families need most in the aftermath of a disaster. This includes items such as tents, tarpaulins, water, baby care kits, food and other relief items.

As conditions rapidly change, the American Red Cross will continue to work closely with its Movement partners and others on the ground to ensure that needs are being met and to help survivors in the critical days and weeks to come.

You can help those affected by countless crises around the world each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need. Call 1-800-RED CROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the International Response Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation.

Editorial note: Field staff in Indonesia are available for interviews. To book interviews, contact 202- 303-5551, or Carol Miller 202-345-6163

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